Dumpster Diving in Illinois: A Comprehensive Guide

You’ve come to the perfect place if you want to start your dumpster diving journey in Illinois. In this detailed guide, we’ll go over various dumpster diving tactics and laws in the state of Illinois. Along the way, I’ll give you some pointers on how to get the most out of your treasure hunt.

Dumpster Diving in Illinois

The Prairie State has a whopping 237 shopping complexes and malls, making it one of the greatest places to go trash diving. The good news is that these shopping centers and malls house a total of 5465 stores. Furthermore, wealthy areas such as Forest Glen (Winnetka), Skokie Heights (Glencoe), Inverness, Tuscon Woods (Oak Brook), and Gold Coast (Chicago) are regarded as garbage diving hotspots in Illinois. Consequently, whether you want to go trash diving in these affluent districts or shop at malls and retail stores, Illinois has it all.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Missouri: A Comprehensive Guide

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Illinois?

In the state of Illinois, dumpster diving is not prohibited. In Illinois, dumpster diving is completely legal. You must, however, adhere to your state’s trespassing laws as well as the city or municipality’s policies and statutes. Because every corporation and private dwelling is normally private property, dumpster diving without authority may result in trespassing citations.

In most cities in Illinois, there are no laws forbidding you from diving into dumpsters that have been put on public property such as curbs for pickup.

According to the historic United States Supreme Court case, California v. Greenwood from 1988, an individual or a business has effectively relinquished ownership rights to objects left in dumpsters in public places across the country.

You could be charged with trespass or theft if you try to search through the dumpster while it is still inside a private house in Illinois. If you go inside a private property to try dumpster diving despite a clearly visible ‘No Trespassing’ sign, you may be charged with trespassing, and the business in Illinois has the ability to permanently prohibit you from their site. You could be charged with disorderly conduct, illegal dumping, or littering.

As a result, you might want to reconsider dumpster diving in that region if you need to unlock a fence, a gate, or enter private property. Those aren’t Illinois’ best trash diving places, especially if you don’t have all of the necessary licenses.

Cities and towns have the power to adopt their own garbage diving regulations. As a result, it’s crucial to not only stay safe while dumpster diving but also to be familiar with the area and the rules.

While the state of Illinois has determined that trash left on the curb becomes public property, allowing dumpster diving, numerous communities disagree and have imposed their own regulations. For example, in these four cities of Illinois, diving into dumpsters that have been left out for city collection either requires a license or is prohibited.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Chicago?

Dumpster diving without a permit is illegal in the city of Chicago. This implies that if you don’t have a license before diving in, you could end up paying a lot of money in fines.

Getting a permit is quite straightforward. Simply follow the application’s instructions, supply all required information, and pay $250.00 for a two-year permit. When you consider it, that charge is a fraction of what you may face if you were caught diving dumpsters without permission.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Aurora?

In the city of Aurora, dumpster diving without a license is illegal. This means that if you dive in without a license, you could end yourself spending a lot of money on fines.

It’s simple to get a dumpster diving license in Aurora. Simply follow the directions on the application, provide all essential information, and pay $50 for a one-year permit. When you think about it, that fee is a drop in the bucket compared to the penalties you could face if you were found diving without permission.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Rockford?

In the city of Rockford, you will need a license in order to dumpster dive legally. This means that if you dive in without a license, you could end yourself spending a fortune on fines.

Moreover, you’ll also want to make sure that the right sticker is shown on the car you’re driving, or you risk getting into trouble.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Joliet?

The city of Joliet also requires you to carry a license while dumpster diving. The city of Joliet has applications for both junk peddlers and scavengers. Therefore, it depends on what you plan to do with the items you find.

Is Dumpster Diving at Night Illegal in Illinois?

In Illinois, dumpster diving at night is not illegal. In truth, the restrictions are the same whether you dive dumpsters during the day or at night. Going trash scavenging in residential areas at night, on the other hand, appears to be fairly risky. There’s a good chance a cop may be dispatched to your location. In addition, trash diving late at night in Illinois attracts a lot more people. Because they prefer seclusion, most dumpster divers prefer to go dumpster diving at night. Dumpster diving in Illinois is best done early in the morning or just after sunrise, in my opinion.

Best places to go Dumpster Diving in Illinois?

There are several great places to go trash diving in Illinois. However, I’ve compiled a list of the finest places in Illinois to start dumpster diving and earn money alongside.

  1. Construction Sites
  2. Garage and Yard Sales
  3. Shopping malls
  4. Cosmetic Stores
  5. Video game Stores
  6. Bakery
  7. Grocery Stores
Related: Dumpster Diving at Walmart: Legal or Illegal?

How much money can you make dumpster diving in Illinois?

The amount of money you can make dumpster diving in Illinois is based on a number of factors. Some people go dumpster diving solely for the purpose of finding recyclable items to sell and profit from. Others may wish to begin garbage diving in order to obtain food or groceries for personal consumption. Many dumpster divers also look for goods to sell on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, such as electronics, furniture, or books.

Garbage diving will be difficult to sustain as a full-time job in Illinois. I don’t mean to imply that it’s impossible. This dumpster diving mama makes over $4000 per month as a side hustle. It’s proof that it is possible but if you want to earn a full-time living dumpster diving in Illinois; you’ll need to put in the full-time effort and attention.

So, how much money can you make trash diving in Illinois? We chatted with four full-time professional trash divers from Illinois. And they all agreed that dumpster diving can pay up to $1800 per week in Illinois if you work full-time. (40+ hours per week).

Final Thoughts

Dumpster diving is not illegal in Illinois. However, depending on your city or county, there may be regulations prohibiting dumpster diving in Illinois. As a result, double-check each community’s city code, which is freely accessible online. Also, follow Illinois’ “Trespass after Warning” statute, as well as local ordinances and common sense rules.